|Lyme Disease Is - - -
Yes! Up until recently the black-legged tick, formerly called the deer tick,
was the only vector of Lyme disease. Research in the last 4 years has
proven the Lone star tick and the American dog tick can also harbor the
Borrelia bacteria. In fact the Lone star tick transmits "Master's Disease",
nearly identical to Lyme disease symptoms. Scientists have not proven
the dog tick can transmit the disease to humans, yet. Research is
currently under way to find an answer.
Reporting Ld cases is mandatory! Your doctor is required to report all
cases that meet the CDC surveillance criteria: (1) Erythema migrans
rash, or; (2) One late manifestation (musculoskeletal, nervous or
cardiovascular system) and laboratory confirmation of infection. Cases
are reported to the county health department, the Iowa Department of
Public Health, and the CDC.
Often, if a doctor suspects Ld following a tick bite, and knowing the
antibody type tests take 30 days to give an effective reading, a doctor will
administer antibiotics without diagnosing and reporting it.
Plus, consider the fact that prior to 2004, Iowa, like many other states,
had its own criteria for recording cases of Lyme and it was too restrictive,
leaving out most diagnosed cases, and keeping the number of reported
cases low. This led health care professionals to believe Lyme was not a
serious health threat, often assuming it was an unlikely diagnosis in
Iowa. Consequently Ld is still under-reported, under diagnosed and
under treated in Iowa. Thus, it is not surprising that Iowa averages 20-30
reported cases annually.
2. How is early Lyme disease diagnosed?
Earliest diagnosis of Lyme disease is from the characteristic erythema
migrans (bulls-eye) rash which may begin a few days to a few weeks
after a tick bite. This expanding pink rash may be clear in the center,
taking on a bull's-eye appearance. Photograph it! Its unique appearance
confirms a Lyme disease diagnosis. However it may appear as an
irregular rash or multiple rashes. Antibiotic treatment must start
immediately. The rash may be followed within a few days or weeks by flu-
like symptoms; mild to severe headache, fever, general malaise,
muscular aches and pains, swollen lymph nodes, fatigue and less
commonly, nausea, vomiting, and conjunctivitis. However, it is estimated
20% to 40% of those infected do not get the erythema migrans rash, or
the rash may be atypical, resembling sunburn or poison ivy.
3.How is Lyme disease diagnosed if the patientdoes not
have a rash and typical early symptoms?
According to the CDC clinical diagnosis is necessary since symptoms
vary greatly, it's often relapsing, and current laboratory tests for Lyme
disease itself are unreliable, producing false positives and negatives.
This is a multisystemic disease often mimicking other diseases.
4.What is the treatment for Lyme disease?
Lyme disease patients respond to certain antibiotics and treatment of
early infection should be at least 8 weeks. Patients with late stage
disease often require more extensive treatment than most medical
literature indicates. An initial Jarish- Herxheimer reaction (a temporary
worsening of symptoms) occurs and must be distinguished from
antibiotic allergy. I mprovement from antibiotic therapy helps confirm the
5.Why is Lyme disease controversial?
There's debate in the medical community about what Lyme disease is and
how long treatment should last. The confusion exists because of the lack
of a definitive diagnostic test and the lack of a clinical definition of Lyme
disease. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) definition was intended
only for surveillance purposes, yet it is often mistakenly used to diagnose
or fail to diagnose the disease. Further, there is no treatment protocol for
Lyme disease approved by the Federal Drug Administration.
1. Beware of ticks. Ticks do not hop, or fly, they crawl toward a host
when detecting body heat, or carbon dioxide. Ticks live in weedy areas. Tall
grass, leaf litter, low shrubs, underbrush, and field and trail edges are
favored. In highly infected areas, lawns may have ticks.
2. Wear long sleeves & long pants. Tuck the legs into your socks.
Light-colored clothes make it easier to spot ticks.
3. Stay in the middle of trails. Don't brush against leaves and weeds
or hike through the underbrush.
4. Use an insect repellent. Follow manufacturers directions. Look for
ones containing 25-35% deet.
5. Check for ticks often. Crawling ones can be brushed off carefully.
6. Place clothes in a dryer. A 1/2 hr. dryer high heat cycle will destroy
ticks which might be hiding in clothing,
the scalp, and behind the ears.
7. Do a thorough tick check. Ticks crawl upward until they are
stopped. Check legs, waistline, bra line, and armpits, and ask a family
member to help check scalp, back, etc.
8. Use repellents and check your pets before they enter the house
for crawling or attached ticks.
9. Hunters and trappers should hang animal carcasses away
from buildings. Put a bucket of bleach water under the animal to catch
any ticks falling off. Wear rubber gloves when field dressing or handling
meat to minimize chances for infection.
|***Disclaimer: The information provided on this web site should not take the place of any quality medical care. It is provided for patient
information only. ILDA-ED does not engage in rendering medical services.
Copyright © 2007 - 2023 Iowa Lyme Disease Association (ILDA). All Rights Reserved.
|Frequently Asked Questions
|Iowa Lyme Disease Association - Education
Education - Patient Support - Medical Updates
|P.O. Box 221
Brighton, IA 52540
|Welcome! We are friends and parents brought together because Lyme disease has inflicted us, our children, other family members, or friends. Our purpose is to
educate with the facts about Lyme disease, its diagnosis and treatment and to provide support for patients and others wanting more information. Our information
is supported by credible research and we will keep you updated on any new research that pertains to Lyme disease. Treatment options are listed and links
provided so you can educate yourself and your physician about Lyme disease. Lyme knowledgeable doctors are few in Iowa We strongly support working and
educating your treating physician. Links are provided to search for a Lyme literate doctor. Lastly we provide patient support and encourage interaction among
patients and action by patients to support Lyme disease awareness.